Dr. Mercola Interviews the Experts
This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click here.
Dr. David Brownstein, who has a clinic just outside of Detroit, Michigan, has successfully treated over 200 patients with what has become my favorite intervention for COVID-19 and other upper respiratory infections, namely nebulized hydrogen peroxide.
A peer-reviewed consecutive case series of 107 COVID-19 patients treated with nebulized peroxide and other remedies, including oral vitamins A, C and D, iodine, intravenous hydrogen peroxide and iodine as well as intravenous (IV) vitamin C, along with intramuscular ozone, was published in the July 2020 issue of Science, Public Health Policy, and the Law.1 All patients survived.
Nebulized Peroxide and Iodine
At the time of this interview, the number of patients successfully treated with these all-natural strategies exceeds 230, and he has now published a book describing his approach, titled “A Holistic Approach to Viruses.”
Early Treatment Virtually Eliminates Long-Haul Syndrome
In my recent interview with Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, in which we discuss hydroxychloroquine treatment, he pointed out that none of the patients treated within the first five days of symptom onset went on to develop long-haul syndrome.
This has by and large been Brownstein experience as well. Of the initial 107 patients included in his case report, 2% developed long-haul syndrome. This is in stark contrast to the 20% to 40% reported elsewhere, he notes.
Most Are Deficient in Basic Immune Boosters
It’s important to recognize as long as your immune system is up to par, your body can overcome most if not all viral invaders. And, your immune system function is dependent on proper nutrition, not drugs or vaccines. Brownstein’s use of nutritional supplements and other immune boosting strategies goes back decades, well before there were antiviral drugs available.
He points out that a vast majority of people have low levels of vitamin C, for example, which helps both your innate and adaptive immune systems. About 90% of his patients are also deficient in vitamin D, which is another crucial immune regulator. You have vitamin D receptors in both your innate and adaptive immune systems. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with sepsis.
Many are also deficient in vitamin A. Here, the devil’s in the details. Beta carotene is a water-soluble form of vitamin A that does not provide the immune boosting benefits of vitamin A. For that, you need the fat-soluble form. So, make sure you’re taking emulsified vitamin A.
Vitamins A, C, D and Iodine
For decades now, Brownstein has prescribed vitamins A, C and D to his patients, and at the first signs of illness, he instructs them to jack up the dosages to 100,000 units of vitamin A and 50,000 units of vitamin D3 per day for four days, along with 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C per hour during waking hours until symptoms recede.
As time went on, he discovered case histories describing the treatment of pneumonia, bronchitis and other lung problems with nebulized iodine. As a result, he added that into his antiviral regimen as well.
If you’re using 5% Lugol’s solution, simply add one drop to your nebulizer after filling it with the diluted peroxide solution. If you’re using 2% Lugol’s solution, which is available over the counter, add two drops. Of course, this should be done with a doctor’s consultation.
IV Peroxide, Vitamin C and Ozone
A few years after that, he came across hydrogen peroxide, which can be used both intravenously and in a nebulizer. The fact that your body naturally produces huge amounts of hydrogen peroxide in all cells can clue you in to its importance.
Eventually, he started adding in IV vitamin C, hydrogen peroxide and ozone therapy. When COVID-19 broke out the winter of 2020, Brownstein decided to try this basic antiviral protocol, finding it worked just as well against SARS-CoV-2 infection as any other viral infection.
During the first wave in March and April 2020, none of the staff that continued working fell ill. Eventually, one staff member got sick, triggering a cascade of infection among the staff. All were treated and all successfully recovered. “Now we have a herd immunity office,” Brownstein says. “Eighty-seven percent of us have antibodies to COVID-19.”
Nebulized Peroxide Basics
I've embraced nebulized peroxide since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and have received many anecdotal reports from people who have successfully used it, even at more advanced stages. Based on Brownstein’s experience, I now also recommend adding iodine when nebulizing, as it appears to make it even more effective.
Keep in mind that the peroxide needs to be diluted with saline. I recommend diluting it down to 0.1%. Brownstein recommends diluting it to 0.04%. Tom Levy recommends 3% and higher. Ideally, use food grade hydrogen peroxide, as it does not have any harmful stabilizers. If you pre-dilute to 0.04%, it will stay potent for about three months when kept refrigerated. If you do a 0.1% dilution, it may stay potent a bit longer.
If you don’t have access to saline, you could make your own by mixing one teaspoon of unprocessed salt (such as Himalayan salt, Celtic salt or Redmond's real salt) into a pint of water. This will give you a 0.9% saline solution, which is about the concentration found in body fluids. Using that saline, you will then dilute the hydrogen peroxide as described in this chart.
Do not mix the peroxide with straight distilled water, as this could potentially cause physiological damage. You need the salt in there. You can, however, make your saline using distilled water.
Also, to optimize your benefits, be sure to buy an electric tabletop jet nebulizer. The battery-driven handheld versions simply aren’t as effective. As Brownstein points out, in nearly all cases where patients were not getting better, they were using a handheld nebulizer. Once they got a more powerful version that can drive the peroxide deep into the lungs, the treatment started working as it should.
I strongly recommend buying everything you need beforehand, so that you can treat yourself or your family at a moment’s notice. You don’t want to wait days for your order to arrive before starting treatment.
Mechanisms of Action
What is it about hydrogen peroxide that makes this nebulizing treatment work so well? Obviously, regular peroxide is a topical disinfectant that kills viruses on contact. But it also seems to have a secondary messenger effect. Brownstein explains:
Aside from having antiviral effects, nebulizing peroxide will also improve oxygenation and breathing in general, and can be very helpful for smokers. This makes sense as peroxide breaks down in your body into water and oxygen. Brownstein believes it also has a detoxifying effect on the lungs.
It’s interesting to note that Brownstein and his colleagues never used any of the drug regimens that many doctors swear by, such as ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine.
While he has looked at the scientific literature, noting there’s ample evidence to support their use and safety, all of his patients recovered without them, so he never resorted to prescribing either of them. Brownstein didn’t even use zinc, which is a staple nutritional intervention for viral infections.
For patients who travel and worry about contracting COVID-19, he simply reminds them to bring their nebulizer, properly diluted hydrogen peroxide and iodine. That way, they can nebulize when they get to their destination, which should effectively kill off any pathogens they might have been exposed to during their travels.
Remedies to Avoid
Aside from knowing what to take and what to do, it’s also important to know what to avoid. Examples include Tamiflu which, when it works, may reduce symptomatic illness for only a couple of hours at best, while having significant side effect risks. Brownstein also advises against Tylenol and other antipyretics such as aspirin and ibuprofen. The reason for this is because you don't want to suppress your body's ability to mount a fever. Brownstein explains:
The Problem With Tylenol
Tylenol in particular is also problematic for other reasons. Importantly, it poisons the enzyme that makes glutathione, a very potent antioxidant that your body produces intracellularly. When you’re dealing with a bacterial or viral infection, you want your body to make more glutathione to support affected cells. If you take Tylenol, you block that process.
Back to Basics
Brownstein stresses that it’s not just about taking certain supplements or nebulizing when you’re ill. You also need to clean up your diet. The best treatment is prevention, which you’ll achieve through proper diet and a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis.
That said, when you do get acutely ill, if you haven’t already eliminated processed foods, which are loaded with sugar and harmful fats, omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) in particular, that’s the time to do it.
Research actually suggests hydrogenated LA can radically increase your risk for COVID-19 because the LA is part of the strategy the SARS COV-2 virus uses to infect your cells. I describe this in “The Type of Fat You Eat Affects Your COVID Risk.” So, you’ll want to dramatically limit vegetable oils and other sources of LA and focus on organic whole foods.
Together, eating “clean” and addressing any nutritional deficiencies you may have (and testing is the best way to go about determining that) can go a long way toward preventing severe infections. As noted by Brownstein:
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